Panaji: A Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislator in Goa on Wednesday said if the mining halt continued in the state, then he feared that people might resort to suicides. "This is just the first month of mining halt. If this continues further, we will have people committing suicide," Sanvordem BJP MLA Nilesh Cabral told reporters. He said the halt on mining activity has hit his constituency and people have lost their livelihood.
The Supreme Court in its recent verdict had ordered halt in the extraction and transportation of ore in Goa in wake of Justice JB Shah Commission's findings about illegal mining in the state. A state based NGO, Goa Foundation, had moved the apex court claiming that all the mines in the state were illegal.
Cabral said the mines should not be closed till some alternative employment avenue is arranged for the people dependent on it. The state can decide on the buffer zone around wildlife sanctuaries but the mines in that region should not be shut down immediately, he said. "Shut down the mines but in a phased manner," he added.